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Steven Sanchez
Professor Smudde
SED 464
22 September 2015
School Environment Narrative
I have had the privilege this year to start the iTeachAZ program through Arizona State
University and for my first student-internship, I have been assigned to Corona del Sol High
School in Tempe, Arizona. As of right now, I am observing and working with Jennifer Lopez, a
Spanish teacher who is in her twelfth year of teaching at Corona. Her teaching style is what one
may consider as old school, but it is effective nonetheless.
When it comes to Mrs. Lopez classroom layout, it is arranged in a manner that is not
typically seen. There are a total of thirty-eight chairs with tables and nineteen are facing north,
while the other half are facing south. Mrs. Lopes has a total of five classes during the day and
there are 39, 28, 38, 37, and 31 students in those classes. An isle about three feet wide permits
the instructor to pass through the middle of the students, being able to assist them and keep them
on task. The students are able to see one another and to what I have observed, they are able to
hold longer conversations in Spanish and are more engaged. In addition, there are different
motivational posters hung up throughout the classroom. The quotes on the posters include,
Mantn la calma y habla Espaol (Keep calm and speak Spanish) and Todo el mundo sonre
en el mismo idioma (The whole world smiles in the same language). These posters are
displayed in order to help inspire the students and to also encourage them as they are in the
process of learning another language. Along with the posters, there are different flags from
Spanish speaking countries and these include Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Spain.

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As for the rest of the classroom, there are bookshelves on the north side of the classroom that
hold Spanish-English dictionaries, Esperanza, the book that is being read in class, and
Mosacos, the other textbook that is utilized in classroom activities. Cultural garments are also
hung throughout the classroom. For technology, Mrs. Lopez has a smart board on the east side
of the class, 42 Lenevo ThinkPad Laptops, a projector, a DVD/VHS player and a Samsung TV.
To continue, Corona del Sol High School as a whole is a large school. There are a total
of 2,635 students enrolled in the high school and 109 full time teachers. When it comes to the
demographics of the Tempe school, the minority enrollment is at 37%. The following table
demonstrates the percentages of race at Corona.
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander
2 or more races


As for gender, 52% of students are male and 48% are female. In addition, there are financial
struggles and students who face this are considered to be economically disadvantaged students.
Five percent of students receive free lunch and four percent are in the reduced-priced lunch
Reading Proficiency

Falls Below (2%), Approaches (7%), Meets

Mathematics Pro

(75%), Exceeds (18%)

Falls Below (9%), Approaches (8%), Meets

(43%), Exceeds (40%)

College Readiness (AP)
29% Tested 18% passed
program. Another important portion that is observed are the students test scores. The following
graph will show the schools test scores as of the last school year.

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As one can see, the students at Corona del Sol are performing well and the numbers are high.
There is still room for improvement, but that is part of the process. With this, Corona del Sol
ranks at #40 in the state, receiving the silver award for performance, and #2,362 in the nation.
Furthermore, Corona del Sol is part of the Tempe Union High School District. Along
with Corona, there are six other schools in the district which include Mountain Pointe, Marcos de
Niza, Tempe High, McClintock, Desert Vista, and Compadre Academy. In the state of Arizona,
the Tempe District ranks #5. Like other schools today, Corona del Sol along with the other
Tempe schools have gone to open enrollment. Open enrollment enables Arizona students to
attend public schools outside of their attendance area. This is the reason as to why over 2,000
students attend Corona del Sol. In addition, for those who live outside of the boundaries,
transportation is not provided. Something interesting regarding the boundaries is that the Tempe
school boundaries extend into the cities of Chandler and Phoenix. Due to this, the community
has been affected in different ways.
When it comes to the community, there has been several changes throughout the city of
Tempe. The estimated cost of living in Tempe if one were to own a home would be roughly
$1,719 a month. Rent on the other hand would be approximately $1,300-$1,400, which is lower
than an actual mortgage payment. Also, utility bills such as water could reach up to over $700,
$361 going towards used water and $249 to unused water. The average city state tax is $560 and
city property taxes are estimated to be around $309. Home values have a broader range,
depending on the size and location. Smaller homes tend to cost around $300,000, while larger
homes are in between $400,000-$500,000 in price.
Overall, the city of Tempe is one of the more expensive areas to live in in the state of
Arizona. Besides the cost, the Tempe Union High School District has some of the most well

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accomplished high schools in the state. Corona del Sol High School is a great example and fits
this description perfectly. Students are being taught at high levels and are demonstrating this
through their learning. I am looking forward to learning more during my time as a student intern.
Works Cited
Tempe Union High School District. Web. 2015. Retried from:
U.S. News and World Report. Education. Web. Retrieved from: